Solarpunk Novela 010

Both places different, but with the same problem. And both got the same solution. First wireless internet connected them to the knowledge of the world. Then low-latency satellite internet allowed them to control and operate machines thousands of miles away – and finally a cheap vertiport for electric planes connected them physically with “civilization”, as his children called any place other than Kihnu. Few people appreciated what an equalizing effect these planes had on small communities around the globe.

A single kilometer of modern street costs about one million Euro. If it’s an overland road or a highway, it can cost up to 12 million Euro per kilometer. Railroad tracks are similarly expensive.

There is zero chance that a small village like Kabaka in Ghana would get a railway station. That simply wasn’t in the cards for a village of a few hundred people. Similarly, it was out of the question that the Estonian government would build a ten-kilometer-long bridge, just to connect the grannies of Kihnu to the mainland. (In the winter they used to mark a “road” across the frozen Baltic Sea. Driving that road made you appreciate life, especially in the spring when the water would squirt left and right from your tires, and you were never sure if ice was still below you – or if you would sink to the bottom of the Baltic Sea any moment.)

“Where was I,” thought Arvo. Right. There was no way these small communities would ever be physically connected to the wider world through modern roads or railways. If you tried to build a network of streets and highways in Ghana that was equal to, say, France – it would cost a staggering 152 billion Euro – just at the quality level of a normal street.

So, the governments of poorer countries embraced a smarter solution. Instead of paving half their country with concrete, destroying their nature, and repeating all the sins of the Western world: They simply built hundreds of thousands of small, cheap vertiports. Then they bought thousands of electric planes and introduced a government funded air taxi service. 

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